Inauguration of Tabernacle Worship
1 On the eighth day#sn This eighth day is the one after the seven days of ordination referred to in Lev 8:33-35. Moses summoned#tn Heb “called to”; CEV, NLT “called together.” Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, 2 and said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both flawless, and present them before the Lord. 3 Then tell the Israelites: ‘Take a male goat#tn Heb “a he-goat of goats.” for a sin offering and a calf and lamb, both a year old and flawless,#tn Heb “and a calf and a lamb, sons of a year, flawless”; KJV, ASV, NRSV “without blemish”; NASB, NIV “without defect”; NLT “with no physical defects.” for a burnt offering, 4 and an ox and a ram for peace offerings to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with olive oil, for today the Lord is going to appear#tn The verb is either a prophetic perfect (“will appear to you”) as in the MT (cf. IBHS §30.5.1.e; so many English versions), or a futurum instans participle (“is going to appear to you”) as in the LXX and several other versions (see the BHS footnote; cf. IBHS 627 §37.6f). In either case, the point is that Moses was anticipating that the Lord would indeed appear to them on this day (cf. vv. 6, 22-24). to you.’” 5 So they took what Moses had commanded to the front of#tn Heb “to the faces of.” the Meeting Tent and the whole congregation presented them and stood before the Lord. 6 Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded you to do#tn Heb “which the Lord commanded you shall/should do.” so that the glory of the Lord may appear#tn Heb “and the glory of the Lord will appear,” but the construction with the simple vav (ו) plus the imperfect/jussive (וְיֵרָא, vÿyera’; literally, “and he will appear”) suggests purpose in this context, not just succession of events (i.e., “so that he might appear”). to you.” 7 Moses then said to Aaron, “Approach the altar and make your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement on behalf of yourself and on behalf of the people;#tn Instead of “on behalf of the people,” the LXX has “on behalf of your house” as in the Hebrew text of Lev 16:6, 11, 17. Many commentaries follow the LXX here (e.g., J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:578; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 118) as do a few English versions (e.g., NAB), but others argue that, as on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16), the offerings of the priests also effected the people, even though there was still the need to have special offerings made on behalf of the people as reflected in the second half of the verse (e.g., B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 56). and also make the people’s offering and make atonement on behalf of them just as the Lord has commanded.”
The Sin Offering for the Priests
8 So Aaron approached the altar and slaughtered the sin offering calf which was for himself. 9 Then Aaron’s sons presented the blood to him and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar, and the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10 The fat and the kidneys and the protruding lobe of#tn Heb “from.” the liver from the sin offering he offered up in smoke on the altar just as the Lord had commanded Moses, 11 but the flesh and the hide he completely burned up#tn Heb “he burned with fire,” an expression which is sometimes redundant in English, but here means “burned up,” “burned up entirely.” outside the camp.#sn See Lev 4:5-12 and the notes there regarding the sin offering for priest(s). The distinction here is that the blood of the sin offering for the priests was applied to the horns of the burnt offering altar in the court of the tabernacle, not the incense altar inside the tabernacle tent itself. See the notes on Lev 8:14-15.
The Burnt Offering for the Priests
12 He then slaughtered the burnt offering, and his sons#tn For smoothness in the English translation, “his” was used in place of “Aaron’s.” handed#tn The verb is a Hiphil form of מָצָא, matsa’, “to find” (i.e., causative, literally “to cause to find,” but here the meaning is “to hand to” or “pass to”; see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 117-18, and J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:581-82). The distinction between this verb and “presented” in v. 9 above (see the note there) is that in v. 9 Aaron’s sons held the bowl while Aaron manipulated some of the blood at the altar, while here in v. 12 they simply handed the bowl to him so he could splash all the blood around on the altar (Milgrom, 581). the blood to him and he splashed#tn For “splashed” (also in v. 18) see the note on Lev 1:5. it against the altar’s sides. 13 The burnt offering itself they handed#tn See the note on v. 12. to him by its parts, including the head,#tn Heb “and the burnt offering they handed to him to its parts and the head.” and he offered them up in smoke on the altar, 14 and he washed the entrails and the legs and offered them up in smoke on top of the burnt offering on the altar.
The Offerings for the People
15 Then he presented the people’s offering. He took the sin offering male goat which was for the people, slaughtered it, and performed a decontamination rite with it#tn The expression “and performed a decontamination rite [with] it” reads literally in the MT, “and decontaminated [with] it.” The verb is the Piel of חטא (kht’, Qal = “to sin”), which means “to decontaminate, purify” (i.e., “to de-sin”; see the note on Lev 8:15). like the first one.#sn The phrase “like the first one” at the end of the verse refers back to the sin offering for the priests described in vv. 8-11 above. The blood of the sin offering of the common people was applied to the burnt offering altar just like that of the priests. 16 He then presented the burnt offering, and did it according to the standard regulation.#tn The term “standard regulation” (מִשְׁפָּט, mishpat) here refers to the set of regulations for burnt offering goats in Lev 1:10-13. Cf. KJV “according to the manner”; ASV, NASB “according to the ordinance”; NIV, NLT “in the prescribed way”; CEV “in the proper way.” 17 Next he presented the grain offering, filled his hand with some of it, and offered it up in smoke on the altar in addition to the morning burnt offering.#sn The latter part of the verse (“in addition to the morning burnt offering”) refers to the complex of morning (and evening) burnt and grain offerings that was the daily regulation for the tabernacle from the time of its erection (Exod 40:29). The regulations for it were appended to the end of the section of priestly consecration regulations in Exod 29 (see Exod 29:38-40) precisely because they were to be maintained throughout the priestly consecration period and beyond (Lev 8:33-36). Thus, the morning burnt and grain offerings would already have been placed on the altar before the inaugural burnt and grain offerings referred to here. 18 Then he slaughtered the ox and the ram – the peace offering sacrifices which were for the people – and Aaron’s sons handed#tn See the note on Lev 9:12. the blood to him and he splashed it against the altar’s sides. 19 As for the fat parts from the ox and from the ram#tn Heb “And the fat from the ox and from the ram.” (the fatty tail, the fat covering the entrails,#tn The text here has only the participle “the cover” or “that which covers,” which is elliptical for “the fat which covers the entrails” (see Lev 3:3, 9, 14; 7:3). the kidneys, and the protruding lobe of the liver), 20 they#tn The plural “they” refers to the sons of Aaron (cf. v. 18). The LXX, Smr, and Syriac have singular “he,” referring to Aaron alone as in the latter half of the verse (the singular is followed here by NLT). Cf. NCV “Aaron’s sons put them.” set those on the breasts and he offered the fat parts up in smoke on the altar. 21 Finally Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh as a wave offering before the Lord just as Moses had commanded.
22 Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them and descended from making the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offering. 23 Moses and Aaron then entered into the Meeting Tent. When they came out, they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Then fire went out from the presence of the Lord#tn Heb “from to the faces of the Lord.” The rendering here is based on the use of “my faces” and “your faces” referring to the very “presence” of the Lord in Exod 33:14-15. and consumed the burnt offering and the fat parts on the altar, and all the people saw it, so they shouted loudly and fell down with their faces to the ground.#tn Heb “fell on their faces.” Many English versions and commentaries render here “shouted for joy” (e.g., NIV; cf. NCV, NLT) or “shouted joyfully,” but the fact the people “fell on their faces” immediately afterward suggests that they were frightened as, for example, in Exod 19:16b; 20:18-21.